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Ironman Wisconsin - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Madison, Wisconsin
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
70F / 21C
Total Time = 13h 52m 29s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group = M45-49
Age Group Rank = 166/
Pre-race routine:

Up at 4:15a. Blueberry bagel and some agua. Rode down the hotel elevator with a first-timer. Same hotel, same route to the venue, same parking structure...creature of habit, yes I am.
Event warmup:

Early AM temps were a nit bipply, so after I was done setting up the bike and dropping off the SN bag, I went back to the car and listened to some tunes. Went back to transition and headed down the helix at about 6:15a then into the water. Considering the water was about 70F, I could have donned the wetsuit and just bobbed in the lake for awhile instead of the car...that said the dang lake probably swallowed my wedding band. I noticed it was gone in T2 - wifey has been understanding (upside is that trolling in the bars just got easier...jk).
  • 1h 22m 54s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 58s / 100 yards

Sucky. Worst mosh pit in four starts. Poor positioning or poor seeding or poor swimming. Finally found some clear water about 2/3rds down the front stretch. Not too crowded around the first turn bouy, nor the second. As noted above, back stretch was frickin' long and with a slight wind quartering from the right, which made me breathe left the whole time (which is probably why I have a sinus infection brewing in the right side of my head right now). Time was slower than what I was expecting, but what's a few minutes in an Ironman?

I understand there is a saying in poker that suggests that if you can't spot the sucker at the table, you're it. I wonder if that goes for open water swimmers? I either have the worst open water sense of direction or nearly everyone else around me can't swim a straight line...
Transition 1
  • 15m 49s

Walked the helix. Walked into the change room, walked out of the change room, walked to my bike, walked with my bike to the mount line, you get the point...I was taking T1 easy. Put on socks and shoes at the mount line. Slow, yes, but the HR was still elevated well into the bike leg and I needed it to settle down, so probably the right choice to take it easy.
  • 6h 36m 21s
  • 112 miles
  • 16.95 mile/hr

In previous efforts, I overcooked the bike and paid for it. The plan was to ride much more conservatively, recognizing that my training was not nearly deep enough to ride as fast as previous efforts, and to try to improve my nutrition and hydration intake. Paid close attention to HR and mostly kept it mid-to-upper Z2 throughout, except for uphills, of course.

Stayed on the hydration and nutrition plan (50 oz water per hour and 65 g CHO per hour). In the second half started using G2 as the CHO source insted of poptarts (as much as it pains me to say, I don't want to see a poptart any time soon - choking these down in the fourth and fifth hours was tough). That all said, I suspect my hydration goal is still a bit short of my actual needs.

Played leapfrog with some Brit-sounding youngster that really seemed to like the "TriFaster" jersey. Not sure if he thought it was supposed to be a clever play on words or something serious, but no matter, each time he'd pass me it was the same..."I really like the shirt". Plenty of good support up the big hills - too many dudes in bikinis, though. Come on, ladies! I liked the two gals dressed like nurses (I think they were on Timber). Saw them again on the run. My old girlfriend was there in Mt. Horeb - I don't think she remembers me, though.
Transition 2
  • 07m 12s

Porta-pit stop and sunscreen, otherwise this would have been a bit faster.
  • 5h 30m 18s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 12m 37s  min/mile

Felt pretty good off the bike, comparatively speaking. Yes, I had the rubber leg syndrome, but I actually ran for nearly the first four miles, save for the walks through the aid stations (water, Coke and chips). Saw Clint and Terri at the start of State Street and the wife and son for the first time all day just past the fire station at about the 3/4 mile point. Other than Phil at transition and the Tri-Faster crew (Lauren) on Timber Lane, it had been a day with few familiar faces.

Dragged azz from the four mile mark until the downhill on Observatory. I felt the best all run along the lakeshore path from roughly mile seven to the far turnaround. My worst stretch was from that far turn-around nearly all the way back to the square. I saw the wife and son again just before the fire house and they said they weren't going to stay for the rest of the race - so on top of feeling crappy, my cheering section was bugging out with one more lap to go.

The two nurses from the hill on Timber now were in front of the fire station. I wasn't going to settle for a simple hand slap. I stopped and got a hug from one - a sweaty melon press. Seemed to catch a second wind at the next aid station across from the Kohl Center (go figure) and then saw Phil again just under the railroad bridge (I would see him again at Camp Randall for the last 2+ miles).

Ran from Camp Randall to the next aid station and from there to the next one before Observatory. From the top of Observatory I was able to make it to the aid station leaving State Street for Park Street. Back again on the Lakeshore path and I was feeling pretty good to the first aid station, then not so good.

Walked to the next aid station at the start of the old Ford Inspiration mile and was able to run from there through to the 23 mile mark. Walked a bit down University then ran until I met up with Phil and we got to the 24 mile mark.

Dropped Phil, skipped the final aid station and ran it home. Plenty of hand slapping down the right side of the chute and then heard someone yell my name from the left side - AmyJo and Craigster! For the first time I heard MR call my name - that was sweet - across the line and to the catchers.

One catcher has been volunteering for all eleven years of the event and the other had been doing it for three years. Most excellent. Some more babbling with the catchers, cap, shirt, picture and out the back of the finishing area I go.

Post race
Warm down:

At this point my sherpas have split town so as I zombie walk to get my bags, one of the volunteer sees the glazed/dazed look and quickly grabs them for me. "You want some help with these?" he asks. "That would be great. Would you mind carrying them with me to my bike"? Thankfully his name was Jeff and the two brain cells I still had working could focus on other things besides trying to remember some dude's name.

After fussing around getting all the crap loaded back in the car I was back to the hotel where I tried to take an ice bath - shivered nearly uncontrollably - bad idea. The water wasn't that cold, but I have had the shivers before after big training days (dehydration, no doubt) which convinces me that I still have not found the recipe of hydration, nutrition and sustained level of effort.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I would like to point to the level of training (rather the lack thereof) due to the amount of business travel I have had this year. To a degree this is true, but an honest assessment would also point to the mindset lurking behind the training.

While training for the first IM I was running scared - "...have to hit every work-out or I won't finish..", that sort of thinking. As a result, I was well trained. Having finished the first (and then another), and without specific performance goals this go-round, subconsciously the training effort became enough to finish in good shape even though outwardly I expressed other desired outcomes.

Of course I would have loved to go faster than the first one or even to get reasonably close, but I truly got the race for which I trained. Now two days removed, I think this is a good thing - I actually stayed true to myself and held together a plan that got me across the line in good shape. Still elusive are dialed-in nutrition and hydration, but I'm closer than I've ever been. I may never find the right recipe, though, and I don't know how many more long course events I have either the time or the motivation to complete - the first one may be as good as it gets.

Cozumel awaits in roughly ten weeks - a great destination event - but I don't know if that's enough for a "finisher" result - without a specific time goal and motivation to train for it I'm not sure if this is in the cards. I enjoy tris and the training is good for me, but perhaps shorter races are more appropriate. No rush to decide anything...maybe I'll consult the wife and see what she thinks...

Event comments:

Others have said it better than I the importance of the volunteers and support from the spectators. I think it's time to give back some of that.

Last updated: 2011-12-08 12:00 AM
01:22:54 | 4224 yards | 01m 58s / 100yards
Age Group: 149/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Below average
Suit: Full, Promotion
Course: First year of a single loop. Back stretch was loooonnnngggg. Slight chop heading that direction too.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Shot
Water temp: 70F / 21C Current: Low
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 15:49
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
06:36:21 | 112 miles | 16.95 mile/hr
Age Group: 163/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Average
147 average HR (upper z2)
Wind: Some
Course: Loved the temporary (?) detour on Messerschmit (?). Got to bomb the downhills. Several new stretches of pavement, which was nice, and still the shitty ride on Stagecoach.
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 07:12
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
05:30:18 | 26.2 miles | 12m 37s  min/mile
Age Group: 166/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Average
137 average HR, but that included all the walking.
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge Just right
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2012-09-12 8:51 AM

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Living in the past
Subject: Ironman Wisconsin

2012-09-12 9:11 AM
in reply to: #4407239

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, Minnesota
Gold member
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
I like your sense of humor   Great race!
2012-09-12 10:05 AM
in reply to: #4407239

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Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Great race and congrats on the finish.

Try not to worry about time so much. I've been in the position where work travel interferes with training. Sometimes you just have to do the best you can with what life gives you.

Nice job!
2012-09-12 10:56 AM
in reply to: #4407239

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West Allis, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

you the man force!!!  once again a stellar performance from a stellar donkey!!



2012-09-12 10:57 AM
in reply to: #4407239

Iron Donkey
, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

Proude of you, Jeff!!  YOU. ARE. AN(other). IRONMAN!!!

I'm glad I had a few minutes to catch you at the race and on the course throughout the day!


2012-09-12 6:22 PM
in reply to: #4407239

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, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Congratulations!  You sound tired and a little burned out but an ironman is simply nothing to sneeze at.  You did a great job!   Rest up & recharge

2012-09-14 8:35 AM
in reply to: #4407239

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Menomonee Falls, WI
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Good job Donkey & weren't you the one in a bike accident just last year?  And now your finishing IM this year?  That's impressive work in my book.  Congrats Ironman!
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